a form of address -- and by extension a title/rank(etymology < monsignore, italian <meum signorem , low latin, literally "my lord") -- for certain prelates(higher-levelpriests) of the catholic church, e.g., protonotaries-apostolic, domestic prelates & papal chamberlains; these prelates are honorary members of the Papal Court/Court of Rome of the Sovereign Pontiff, although they may reside outside of Rome. Monsignors wear distinctive cassocks of violet/purple(similar to that of a bishop, albeit not possessing sacramental powers beyond that of priest. Monsignors are analagous to the lower ranking noblemen of a royal court.
After serving many years as vicar-general for the Archdiocese, Fr. O'Donohue was created a Protonotary-Apostolic with the title of "Monsignor."
by mdp8869 January 25, 2008